To show phone users how much they spend on data, Xfinity turned six-second pre-roll ads into price tags in its “Data in Dollars” campaign. So before a basketball highlight video, for example, Xfinity ran a basketball-themed ad with the real dollars-and-cents cost to stream the video. The company did the same for makeup tutorials, game reviews, movie trailers, gadget-unboxing videos, music videos — hence, every YouTube video became an ad for Xfinity Mobile.
To pull it off, Xfinity partnered with YouTube, who provided the file sizes for some of its most popular videos and the default resolution for videos on its mobile app. With that data in hand, Xfinity calculated the price of each video based on the cost per gigabyte with each of our competitors. The company showed these prices to its target audience right when they were about to waste money streaming a YouTube video on 4G. In a category marked by competitiveness, Xfinity wanted to give other carriers’ customers a solid reason for switching: the expense of streaming a YouTube video.
Thanks to YouTube’s targeting capabilities for bumper ads, the company was able to create a campaign targeted specifically at phone users (YouTube allows targeting exclusively to mobile) who were connected to one of its competitor carriers (YouTube allows targeting by carrier), streaming one of YouTube’s most popular videos (YouTube allows targeting by genre). This was perfect for Xfinity’s concept, allowing it to deliver a message that was tailor-made for each viewer. By helping its competitors’ customers see for the first time the real price they were paying to stream their videos, the company turned YouTube’s most popular videos into compelling ads for Xfinity Mobile.
“Data in Dollars” was a campaign made of six-second ads designed specifically for YouTube and exclusively for mobile. The campaign went live on March 16, and it’s slated to run until June 16. As of April, the campaign has put prices on over 2,000 of YouTube’s most popular videos, with 4.5 million impressions.
The campaign is still running; as of now, YouTube’s most popular videos had made Xfinity Mobile popular too, and has garnered the following: